Macroscopic Modeling, Calibration, and Simulation of Managed Lane-Freeway Networks, Part I: Topological and Phenomenological Modeling

Matthew A. Wright, Roberto Horowitz, Alex A. Kurzhanskiy

To help mitigate road congestion caused by the unrelenting growth of traffic demand, many transit authorities have implemented managed lane policies. Managed lanes typically run parallel to a freeway's standard, general-purpose (GP) lanes, but are restricted to certain types of vehicles. It was originally thought that managed lanes would improve the use of existing infrastructure through incentivization of demand-management behaviors like carpooling, but implementations have often been characterized by unpredicted phenomena that is often to detrimental system performance. This paper presents several macroscopic traffic modeling tools we have used for study of freeways equipped with managed lanes, or "managed lane-freeway networks." The proposed framework is based on the widely-used first-order kinematic wave theory. In this model, the GP and the managed lanes are modeled as parallel links connected by nodes, where certain type of traffic may switch between GP and managed lane links. Two types of managed lane topologies are considered: full-access, where vehicles can switch between the GP and the managed lanes anywhere; and separated, where such switching is allowed only at certain locations called gates. We also describe methods to incorporate in three phenomena into our model that are particular to managed lane-freeway networks. The inertia effect reflects drivers' inclination to stay in their lane as long as possible and switch only if this would obviously improve their travel condition. The friction effect reflects the empirically-observed driver fear of moving fast in a managed lane while traffic in the adjacent GP lanes moves slowly due to congestion. The smoothing effect describes how managed lanes can increase throughput at bottlenecks by reducing lane changes. We present simple models for each of these phenomena that fit within the general macroscopic theory.

Knowledge Graph

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